SA: regulator warns on electricity disconnection and demolitions

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of members. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Saturday, 19 December, 2020 - 12:15
Industry news
South Australia

SafeWork SA recently reminded developers, builders and demolition businesses to ensure permanent disconnection of electricity supply has occurred prior to demolition commencing.

In recent months, SafeWork SA and South Australian Power Networks (SAPN) have attended residential premises, either in the process of being demolished, or have been demolished, with the electrical service line being cut, damaged and left in a dangerous live state, creating a risk to workers and the public.

SafeWork SA and SAPN have discussed this issue to determine what action can be taken to minimise reoccurrence.

“I now warn builders and demolition companies that if SafeWork SA becomes aware that a house is being demolished without the electrical service line first being disconnected, SafeWork SA will take enforcement action against the business for failing to identify the hazard and placing workers and the public at risk to their health and safety,” said SafeWork SA executive director, Martyn Campbell.

Work that is carried out on or near energised electrical installations or services is defined as high-risk construction work in the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA).

To minimise risks to workers and the public the disconnection of power eliminates the risks of electrocution.

SafeWork SA and SAPN will continue to work together to take action against this risk.

New guidance information has been developed on permanent disconnection of electricity supply before commencing demolition.